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Health on agenda at Rhodesway Academy
Health experts at Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust (tPCT) could be set to make a pioneering linkup with an up-and-coming Bradford secondary school.
Earlier this month the Council's decision-making executive recommended the closure of Rhodesway School in Allerton on August 31, 2009, to allow it to reopen as a city academy the following day.
Rhodesway recently emerged from special measures under head teacher Rachel Kidd. Inspectors say it is now a "satisfactory and improving school".
Now, plans have emerged to forge a sustainable partnership between the proposed academy and the tPCT.
Simon Morrit, chief executive, said: "With our local NHS partners, we have agreed in principle to explore a partnership with Dixons Academy in the launch of Rhodesway School as a local academy.
"We will work to further understand and agree the degree of health commitment, especially in development and delivery of the curriculum."
Mr Morritt will represent the tPCT and partner NHS organisations on the Rhodesway Steering Group.
He added: "At present this support is without commitment to providing resources until we are clear on what is required of us and a formal agreement is obtained.
"Once the overall commitment is clarified, each respective organisationwill then need to clarify what part they will play in the project and formalise it in a partnership agreement with Dixons and Rhodesway."
More details on the partnership proposal are expected to be released in the near future. The tPCT's board of directors endorsed the plans at a meeting this week.
City academies were introduced in 2002 to allow state schools to get funding through sponsorship.
Dixons' chiefs stepped into the shoes of the British Edutrust, which had earmarked Rhodesway for academy sponsorship in 2006 before pulling out.
Dixons Academy was the first in Bradford and has gone on to become one of the top-performing state schools in the country. It has since been joined by Bradford Academy which opened last September. Plans are also afoot to give WykeManor academy status.
Bradford Council said it considered academies to be one of a range of options it was using to promote improvements.
Rhodesway's link-up with tPCT comes in the wake of a petition signed by 105 teachers and members of staff at the Oaks Lane school calling for it to remain under the control of Bradford Council.